Character Check!

Carlos started camp off with a bang,

Before camp started, watching Carlos dunk with every ounce of energy he had was pretty entertaining.  Keep in mind that the basket was a 7 foot goal, but when watching Carlos’ intensity you knew that he was giving it all that he had.  It was to no surprise that he brought that same intensity when camp started.

Most kids, at the start of any camp, are timid and still trying to figure out what things are going to be like.  Not Carlos.  From the start he went above and beyond what was asked of him.  Prior to coach G asking the campers to repeat what he was doing (so that the campers would better understand the movements) Carlos was repeating it.  He did it in such a manner that it was evident that he cared about one thing, and one thing only, and that was to get better.

Throughout the rest of day one, during our breaks Carlos was still attempting dunks on the 7 foot goal.  But sure enough, when camp ended, while he was waiting around for his ride, he started working on the techniques he learned during the day; on the regulation rim!

Day two brought new campers into our life.  And it was because of kids like Carlos that we didn’t miss a beat.  The new campers understood what was asked of them because Carlos was not cutting one single corner.  I asked Carlos why he went so hard?  His response was so simple, “because I want to learn coach”.  Somewhere in his mind he has linked hard work with learning, but he has also linked fun with doing both because he was definitely one of the hardest workers, but he never wanted to stop.  When he found out camp was almost over he replied, “Oh come on, I want to learn more”.

Carlos, you ran the walk at camp and we hope you take that same mentality you had at camp and use it everyday towards everything in life.  We expect huge things from you in the future,  Keep Running!

Cantaloupe. The High Volume Food


I chose cantaloupe as todays nutrition gem because I had one a few days ago and it. was. de-lic-ious.  Not that I didn’t already know that  but they are now in season and they are juicy and refreshing!

Besides being absolutely delicious, cantaloupes are, of course, good for a few other reasons:  Think weight management, lower blood pressure and potassium/vitamin A powerhouse.

Cantaloupe a high volume food.  This means that it is a food with high volume and low calories (a lot of water and fiber).  Fabulous for anybody trying to lose or manage weight because the food will fill you up and be good for you, while not sky rocketing your calorie count. An entire large melon has about 275 calories and 90% of it is water.

It is rich in potassium and vitamin A, which makes it a key component for keeping healthy blood pressure, and supporting your vision and immune system.  One cup of cantaloupe has a whopping 427 mg of potassium, and 3,000 mcg of beta-carotene, a carotenoid which your body converts into vitamin A.  In addition to being a great antioxidant, beta carotene (vitamin A) protects against cellular damage, which means that it has the power to fight some forms of cancer and also plays a role in protecting against heart disease; Cancer and heart disease being two of the top killers in our country.

It makes great juice and is super easy to blend.  Try blending it with watermelon and then finishing with sparkling water, a splash of fresh lemon and a hint of grated or juiced ginger.  Perfect summer cooler! And SUPER healthy. (Just read that recipe in a book I have).  I’m going to make a batch soon. I will probably add mint.  YUM.

I love to eat cantaloupe just as it is.  If I want to sweeten it, I’ll drizzle a little raw honey over it.  Yummy with a little shake of cinnamon too.  It’s great for the summertime because of it’s water content; stellar for keeping hydrated! Hydration equals delicious, dewey, shiny skin.  Who doesn’t want that?!  And because it’s high volume, low caloric content, it is going to be great for keeping in shape, so you can show off your hot summer bod!  Delicious dewey skin…Hot summer bod… Yes, please!

You are what you eat.

Nicole Schutz. Santa Fe, New Mexico. Over and out.

Peace By Piece

Perseverance Attains Goals

With everything we do, perseverance is key if we want to attain our ultimate goal.

Growing up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I witnessed a lot of moments that I now look back on and thank God for the ability to persevere.  Before I go any further, let me stop and say that I am not going to exaggerate the reality of my past, but I am going to paint a picture to help you understand what I mean by needing perseverance to overcome.

In 7th grade I attended a private Catholic school.  The decision was based on a discussion I had with my mom before she passed away.  The public schools at that time in Santa Fe were not known for the academics, and St. Mikes had a better rate of sending kids to college.

Coming into my 7th grade year I had the feeling that I was going to be a star on the court.  I was far from right.  The coaching staff at St. Mikes was not a fan of my style of play. St. Mikes was a 7-12 school, and the Varsity coach had the coaches for each lower level handpick players to suit his own wishes.

Throughout my middle school and 9th grade seasons, I averaged one to two minutes a game.  It came to an all-time worst when, during my sophomore year, I found myself being blamed for a game we lost even though I was only in the game for 42 seconds.  I was trying everything I could to play the way that the coaching staff liked, but I enjoyed playing the game fast and loved getting up and down the court, and they wanted a slow-down game.  Finally, Coach Bob Romero, who was my Junior Varsity coach, let me have it in a locker room after a loss.  He expressed that my style of play was for the boys’ club league and that I might as well quit now because I would never be a Varsity player.  The butt-chewing trickled into the next day when I had a 2-hour practice dedicated to me.  He kept going over what it takes to be a Varsity player, and what skills I lacked to become that player.  He had all of the players hold a basketball and finished the 2-hour session with this, “THE BALL IS IN YOUR COURT.”

I finished out the season, often crying with thoughts of quitting.  But the thing I kept coming back to in my mind was that phrase, “The ball is in your court.”  Coach Romero was wrong about so much, but he was so accurate with that comment.

I had the control to do something about all of this.  If they didn’t play me, I was the one who had to make it obvious that I should be out there.  My choice was: I could see all of this as a huge obstacle, impossible to get over, or I could see the obstacle for what it was, a minor detour in the road to success.  All I could do was focus on being the best me.

I became addicted to working out, and although I made huge improvements to my game, my junior year found me on JV yet again and on the bench for Varsity.  By the middle of the season I had moved up to just Varsity, but still found myself playing 1-3 minutes a game.  I had worked so hard, and yet nothing seemed to be working.  Then finally, something happened.

We played a game leading to the district semi-final.  The point guard, who was playing ahead of me, came down with an injury during the last part of the game.  It forced the coaches to play me the rest of the game.  We won that game, but there was serious doubt for the next game to come.  In our previous match-up with the team we would be playing, we had lost by 36.  However, the second time we met them, I wound up hitting the last-minute free throws to win the game.

The time finally allowed for the opportunity, and I seized it.  My senior year, with a whole new coaching staff intact, was amazing.  We wound up winning a state title, I was named all-state first team, and I received a scholarship to play college basketball.

It took a long time to reap the reward of my hard work.  All the countless hours of gym time and endless hours of focus finally paid off.  Imagine if I would have quit when Coach Romero said to, or even before that when I was the last one coming off the bench to play the scrap minutes in blowout games.

Without perseverance, our dreams would never manifest because we would be dissuaded every time someone said to quit.  Every time a bump in the road occurred, we would put a stop to it all.  When you want something bad enough, you go after it.  The question is: Do you have the perseverance to climb the mountain that may be on your path to success?

Our next topic is planning.  Perseverance is a great tool to have, but without the plan the chance of success is limited.

Until Next Time,

Keep Running